Friday, June 12, 2020

Friday 5ish

These are fascinating times.  Trying to strike a balance among the triad of market news, COVID-19 updates, and BLM think pieces is becoming my full time job.  I have no idea how people with actual jobs stay on top of everything -- hopefully I find out for myself soon enough.

A benefit of this chaotic year is the education it enables if you have the opportunity to pay attention.  I've learned more in the past few months about market movements and macroeconomics than I had in the six years prior.

We've seen the largest number of cross-asset 3σ -- sigma defined as one-day move on 3m implied volume on previous day -- moves since 1998...and it's only June!  The oil crash, corona, and QE are the likely culprits for the volatility in volume, but I can't quite wrap my head around all the moves in fx.  The Renmibi, not shown in the chart, has made considerable strides as a percentage of reserves since 2015, but people I trust say there's no shot in hell that redbacks become the dominant currency.  Here's some good reading on it: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 

In the meantime, here's an interesting take by The Economist on how the proposed corona bonds are an unlikely benefit of Brexit.

In a similar counterfactual in which I had actually posted a blog last Friday, here is a comprehensive report by the UN on the multitude of effects that the virus is having on the world.  Make some time for this on your weekend because it's required reading.

The world is now at 100k new cases of corona a day.  Texas, Florida, and Arizona, all early re-openers, are seeing record number of new cases.  Unfortunately, it's reasonable to expect similar numbers across the country with us being close to two weeks removed from other reopenings + protests (I'd be curious to see some statistics on new cases in police departments).  The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projects 169,890 deaths by Oct. 1 (113,561 as of June 11).  Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, says there could be another 100k before September.  Read more here.

Imperative in the country's response is the management of public policy by our governors and mayors.  In my own state, Messrs. Cuomo and de Blasio have a lot to answer for.  Not mentioned in that article was the March 25th order that forced infected patients into nursing homes, a decision that alone cost thousands of lives.  Learn from your mistakes.

I find comfort in reading how other societies and cultures responded to moments like these, so I'll finish my Friday post with this piece on the Black Death's impact on Sienese art.  It's more interesting than it sounds.

Have a safe weekend.


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